‘I’ve never seen someone so sick before’: Greensboro family shares traumatic COVID experience

Coronavirus

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — A Greensboro family has been through a COVID-19 nightmare since one family member contracted the virus. 

“It was so scary,” London Kern said. “It could have been stopped.” 

She never thought the virus would hit so close to home. She is vaccinated, but her husband is not. 

“This wasn’t supposed to happen to us,” she said. “This happens to 65-year-olds and people with compromised immune systems but not healthy people.”

On Aug. 9, Kern’s 40-year-old husband Hal started having headaches. At first, they didn’t think it was the coronavirus. 

“He just took a major downturn and really couldn’t move, couldn’t get out of bed,” Kern said. 

He was diagnosed with pneumonia, but all signs pointed to the virus. She said he was exhausted, had chills and his fever shot up.  

“I’ve never seen someone so sick before,” she said. 

Kern told FOX8 it wasn’t until eight days of her husband being symptomatic that a COVID-19 test came back positive. 

She rushed him to the Moses Cone emergency room, but they could not admit him immediately. The hospital was so overrun with COVID-19 patients that they could only admit patients in dire condition, and the hospital did not believe his condition was dire enough.

After a long wait and her husband’s temperature reaching 103.6, they decided to take matters into their own hands.  

“Just wondering like ‘is he going to survive this?'” Kern said. “I don’t know if he’s going to survive this.” 

Their bedroom turned into a makeshift hospital room. There were medicine and IV bags by her husband’s bedside as he laid in pain.  

“I cried on my floor in the bathroom, so he couldn’t hear me,” she said. 

His primary doctor got him in-home care and a monoclonal antibody infusion treatment.  

“He had to be wheelchaired into the infusion center,” Kern said. “The other people were walking in. He had no energy.” 

She didn’t know the worst was yet to come. 

“His fever went back up,” she said. “He just was literally in fetal position like shaking and moaning, and I felt helpless. I no longer knew what to do for him and how to help.” 

She feared COVID-19 would take her husband’s life.  

“That was the moment when we looked in each other’s eyes, and I said I don’t know what to do anymore. ‘Do you want me to call the ambulance?’ He said yes,” Kern said.

Thankfully, within a few days, he was improving but still exhausted. 

“I will never forget when we looked in each other’s eyes that both of us were absolutely terrified of what the future was going to hold,” she said. 

Kern told FOX8 the shot she got may keep this from happening to other families. 

“I really believe that,” Kern said. “If he had just gotten the vaccination, if he had been able to get one, we could have eliminated this whole thing.” 

All this time they’ve been away from their three kids to keep them safe. 

“We haven’t got to hug and kiss them,” she said. 

Kern told FOX8 they’re not eligible for the vaccine yet.  

“I’m very worried about it for my children,” Kern said. “It’s real, and it’s here, and it’s not something to be joked about on social media or over a beer. It is killing people. It is taking families away. It’s divided our family.” 

She said once her husband is well and cleared to get the vaccine, he plans to do it. 

“If you don’t get the vaccine and you get COVID, you may never know what the side effects of the vaccine would’ve been because you may not be here.” 

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